Welcome to the Primal Newscast where Gaming Instincts goes over the hottest and most interesting news of the week that took place in the gaming industry.
Anthem Live Service Producer Leaves BioWare
Halloween was extra-scary this year for any gamer who still enjoys Anthem, as Chad Robertson, the game’s live service provider, has issued a tweet stating he is leaving BioWare, after fourteen years with the company.
I join as a fan now, and look forward to playing BioWare games for years to come. I'm very excited about the next step of my journey in the game industry and look forward to sharing that soon.
— Chad Robertson (@crobertson_atx) October 31, 2019
This news is just one more blow to the battered and bruised near-corpse that is Anthem, following the game’s move to free-to-play via EA Access in September. Lead producer Ben Irving had already jumped the proverbial ship in August, and Anthem itself has been plagued since its February launch with all manner of issues, running the gamut from terrible class balance to player dissatisfaction with its lackluster loot system.
As recently as May, Anthem developers including Robertson himself were tweeting their continued support of the game, stating “We remain 100% committed to Anthem,” and Project Director Michael Gamble following up with, “The studio’s support and commitment to Anthem has not changed.” On August 6, the game’s long-promised Cataclysm event went live, and it was only a mere week later that Ben Irving left BioWare, leaving players to speculate how long Anthem could cling to life.
Robertson’s departure may be the final nail in Anthem’s coffin, and is certainly not good news for BioWare itself, as the company continues to struggle to come back from its recent series of blunders. Whether or not it can succeed, nobody knows.
HITMAN 2 November 2019 Roadmap Unveiled
In celebration of the game’s one-year anniversary, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IO Interactive have released the HITMAN 2 November 2019 roadmap.
Throughout November, HITMAN 2 will be receiving a plethora of free live content as well as some legacy content. Players who own HITMAN 2 “will have access to Featured Contracts, Escalation Contracts, Challenge Packs, item unlocks, suit unlocks, and a legacy Elusive Target.”
The companies provided a list of all the content to be released throughout the month with specific dates. That list appears below:
- The Bahadur Dexterity Legacy Escalation Contract in Marrakesh (Morocco) – Available Nov. 7
- The Teague Temptation Legacy Escalation Contract in Paris (France) – Available Nov. 7
- The Great Heist Challenge Pack in Whittleton Creek (Vermont/U.S.) – Available Nov. 7
- The Montague Audacity Escalation Contract in Santa Fortuna (Colombia) – Available Nov. 14
- Special Occasions Featured Contracts – Available Nov. 14
- Master Fortune Teller Legacy Challenge Pack in Marrakesh (Morocco) – Available Nov. 14
- Art of Revenge Legacy Challenge Pack in Hokkaido (Japan) – Available Nov. 14
- IO Interactive’s HITMAN 2 One-Year Anniversary Livestream on Twitch – Nov. 18
- Blake’s Endeavor Challenge Pack in Isle of Sgàil (North Atlantic) – Available Nov. 21
- The Arthin Occultation Legacy Escalation Contract in Bangkok (Thailand) – Available Nov. 21
- The Szilassi Darkness Legacy Escalation Contract in Sapienza (Italy) – Available Nov. 21
- Plumber’s Apprentice Legacy Challenge Pack in Sapienza (Italy) – Available Nov. 21
- Master Sniper Legacy Challenge Pack in Sapienza (Italy) – Available Nov. 21
- The Fixer Legacy Elusive Target in Marrakesh (Morocco) – Available Nov. 22 through Dec. 2
- The Bartholomew Hornswoggle Escalation Contract in Haven Island (Maldives) – Available Nov. 28
- The McCallister Ransack Escalation Contract in Whittleton Creek (Vermont/U.S.) – Available Nov. 28
- The Quimby Quandary Escalation Contract in Sgàil (North Atlantic) – Available Nov. 28
World of Warcraft 15th Anniversary Celebration
November marks the 15th anniversary of widely popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, and as always, Blizzard will be celebrating the event in game, this time with a special event and some new, awesome mounts.
As part of the continuing anniversary celebration that started with the launch of World of Warcraft Classic, gamers who log in any time during the event will receive a special package in their mailbox. Inside, players will find the Lil’ Nefarian pet, a Celebration Package that increases experience and reputation gain throughout the event, a reusable firework to have a blasted good time with, an item that teleports gamers to the Caverns of Time, and other little goodies.
Players can take part in two special events during the anniversary celebration, earning new mounts to add to their collections.
Memories of Azeroth is a raid finder event that takes players back in time to face boss encounters from The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm. Conquering these trials earns gamers the achievement “Memories of Fel, Frost and Fire,” which grants the Obsidian Worldbreaker, a Black Dragonflight mount inspired by Deathwing.
World of Warcraft fans who prefer to PvP can experience the original Alterac Valley in Korrak’s Revenge, a throwback battleground that allows players to enjoy Alterac Valley as it existed in its earliest days. Completing the “Alterac Valley of Olde” achievement earns collectors two new mounts: the Stormpike Battle Ram for Alliance players, and the Frostwolf Snarler for the Horde.
Fans can enjoy the World of Warcraft 15th anniversary celebration from the first week of November 2019 until the first week of January 2020.
Hermen Hulst New Head of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios
Hermen Hulst, the former managing director of Guerrilla Games, has been named the new Head of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios.
In this new role, Hulst will “manage and lead all game development across the 14 studios that form Worldwide Studios.” The announcement also comes with the knowledge that the current president of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, will leave the position to “become head of a newly formed initiative that will focus on nurturing external independent creators.”
Hulst is a co-founder of Guerrilla Games, the studio best known for the Killzone franchise and Horizon Zero Dawn. While at Guerrilla Games, Hulst aided in the development of Decima, “a proprietary game engine launched in 2013 and used for the production of a range of titles, including the upcoming Death Stranding by Kojima Productions.”
Sony Interactive Entertainment acquired Guerrilla Games in 2005.
Commenting on this new development, Hulst said, “I have worked closely with PlayStation and the entire Worldwide Studios family since 2001, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for the creative talent and ambitious ideas within the network of studios across the US, Europe, and Japan.”
SIE Worldwide Studios is a group of video game developers owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) that was established in 2005. Essentially, it is an internal organization that oversees the functions of Sony’s subsidiaries in the video game industry. This organization is responsible for most, if not all, of the titles that are produced exclusively for the PlayStation family of consoles.
EVERSPACE 2 Kickstarter Campaign Ends in Success
EVERSPACE 2, the open-world sequel to 2017’s roguelike EVERSPACE, has completed its Kickstarter campaign with great success.
ROCKFISH Games, the developer behind both games, met the initial funding for the base game and continued seeking funding to meet its first stretch goal. Just minutes before the Kickstarter campaign ended, the company’s first stretch goal, “The Ancients’ Rift,” was reached.
With a grand total of €503,478 (roughly USD$553,825.80) and 7,979 backers, EVERSPACE 2 has been completely funded, and backers who supported the Kickstarter campaign “at the Standard Edition or above levels can look forward to playing the prototype version of EVERSPACE 2 which has been shown at numerous gaming events. This prototype version is expected to be released to backers in mid-December 2019.”
Players who are interested in EVERSPACE 2 and missed the Kickstarter campaign can still pre-order the game at a 12% discount on the Steam Early Access version of the game at the ROCKFISH Games Store. “Various levels of pre-early access and digital goodies like the original soundtrack or artbooks from EVERSPACE 2 are also available.”
The game has not received an official release date. However, ROCKFISH Games hopes to release version 1.0 of the game sometime in Q3 2021 for PC with planned DLC if the title is “another commercial success for [them.]”